Forged at sea and quenched in the blood of his crew, Ahab’s harpoon stood ready. Soon it would find the flesh of the white whale. The whale that had taken his leg. The whale that had taken members of his crew. The whale that had ravaged crews from ships gone before.
Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but un-conquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee…
Ahab let loose his spear. True to its purpose the harpoon found both its marks—the barb in the whale and the rope around Ahab’s neck. Heaving in pain, or maybe by plan, Moby Dick hauled Ahab from the boat and drug him to the depths. His entire crew met the same fate save one who lived to tell the tale.
Obsession consumes not only the obsessed but those around them as well.
It fixates upon one thing, diminishing the value of all else. When obsession sets in, everything and everyone becomes expendable in pursuit of the whale. And the Church is not immune to its siren song.
Take abortion for instance. Abortion has been at the top of the Church’s hit list since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. Picketing, marching, protesting, organizing, rallying, strategizing, fundraising, preaching—Christians have spared no resource in forging weapons to kill the decision. But in 44 years not one of them has struck the hated ruling.
After decades of failure, a bitter mindset has infiltrated Church conscience. Abortion is the enemy. Anyone who disagrees is the enemy. Anyone having an abortion is the enemy. Anyone performing an abortion is the enemy. God wills us to fight abortion and all enemies are to be vanquished in His name.
Enter a presidential election.
Enter a candidate promising to seat anti-abortion justices on the Supreme Court.
And along with this promise came a trainload of baggage. Bigotry, racism, sexual predation, isolationism, greed, unethical business practices, marital affairs, misogyny, narcissism, blatant false witness, fascist tendencies, and an admission he has no need to ask for God’s forgiveness—all proudly part of the package.
But to the Church, it didn’t matter. One by one, well-known evangelical leaders lined up to endorse the “anti-abortion” candidate. One by one, congregational leaders fell in line. One by one, individual Christians did the same.
Sure they would hold their nose to vote for him, but in true Ahab fashion the Church would sacrifice all other Christian (and American) principles for the sake of its one obsession.
The Church obsessed has forgotten its true enemy.
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)
It’s easy to do—I’m guilty. Since the election I’ve targeted individuals with my anger forgetting my disagreement with them is not the real battle. So in this post, I publicly repent of this sin. I still struggle with this.
The truth is we do not fight our enemy with a ballot. We fight Satan with a weapon he cannot contend with—love. We’re meant to wield this weapon through God’s greatest commandments to love Him and to love others. But against abortion, the Church has yet to unsheath its greatest weapon.
The Church has placed its faith for change in its vote rather than in God’s love.
Meanwhile Christ appears on our doorstep in the form of women in distress, fear, and need. Instead of coming alongside in support we protest, call them murderers, and vote for the “values candidate.” Our lack of love surrenders these women to Satan’s deceptions. They believe they are given no choice but to end their pregnancy and that the Church, along with Jesus, doesn’t care about them.
If only we loved these mothers-to-be with the same devotion we spend fighting a law!
Had we poured our God-given resources into caring for these mothers instead of lobbying against a law, abortion clinics may well have shuttered their doors long ago for lack of business. Children could have been born and raised in loving homes. And the Church might have been known for its unconditional love.
But it’s easier to vote than to love.
So the Church has bargained to install a leader unfit to lead. “Give us the Court and we’ll give you the Presidency.” As a result, disastrous consequences are already taking shape. We are turning away refugees fleeing bloodshed. We are ripping away healthcare from the sick. We are deepening the divide between the super-rich and the ultra-poor. We are telling the world “We are better than you. We hate you.”
We’ve traded our Christian principles for a chance to spear the white whale.
And what if we kill it? The refugees are still unwanted. The sick are still dying. The poor are still outcast. And the women are still in desperate need, still contemplating doing the unthinkable. If we did not show Jesus’ love to these people before we killed the whale, why would we ever do so afterward?
We may soon strike the whale.
But the crew is sacrificed.
And the rope is around America’s neck.
Priest of God, we are better than this. I challenge you to shed the obsession and enter the fight. Lay down the spear forged in hate. Pick up the cross stained with love. It’s hard following Christ. He said it would be. But this is the fight He wants you in–it’s the one that matters.
(And because I know you are wondering, I am 100% anti-abortion—and more important I’m 100% pro-mom)